Homeless: get help from the council

Steps in this guide

How the council can help

Who the council must help

The council must help if you're legally homeless or threatened with homelessness.

You are 'threatened with homelessness' if you're likely to be homeless within the next 8 weeks or you've received a section 21 notice from your landlord.

How much help you get depends on your circumstances - you may get housing or personal advice to help you find or keep your home.

If you don't meet immigration and residence conditions, the council only has to give general advice and information.

Short term help

The council must assess your situation and give you a personal housing plan.

The aim of the plan is to help you keep your home or find somewhere else to live.

The council usually works with you for:

  • up to 8 weeks if you're threatened with homelessness
  • a further 8 weeks if you become homeless

The council must help for longer than 8 weeks if you've been given a section 21 notice and are still facing homelessness when the notice period ends.

Emergency housing

You may qualify for emergency housing while the council looks into your situation if the council thinks you're homeless and in priority need.

Longer term housing

If you're still homeless after 8 weeks, the council decides if you qualify for longer term housing.

You won't qualify unless you:

If you qualify, you may have to stay in temporary accommodation until longer term housing is available.


How to ask the council for help

Last updated - 06 December 2019

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